HIGH POINT, N.C. — Todd Morris is driving a piece of sports car racing history.
“It’s a 1964 Austin Healey,” said Morris, who found the car in a scrapyard. “Looking back at it now I cannot believe I pulled that car out of that salvage yard.”
The car’s original owner was a Piedmont Airlines pilot and speed enthusiast.
“His name was Johnny Jones,” he said. “He was born in Thomasville.”
Jones competed and won races across the country but after he passed the car ended up in a scrapyard.
“There was no motor in it, transmission was hanging off to the side, exhaust was hanging down to the ground,” said Morris, who saw a lot of potential. “I saw this as a great family project, kids know how to do Xbox and iPhone but they’ve never done engines.”
Over several years the family spent nights and weekends bringing the car back to life.
“There were times when I was exhausted,” he said. “My kids would come to me and was like, ‘We are going to go work on the car,’ so they started getting real involved in it.”
Along the way they realized they were doing more than just rebuilding a racing relic.
“These were some of his original goggles back when [Jones] raced in the 60s,” he said. “The car had a tremendous amount of history which gave us a treasure hunt to learn all we can about this guy.”
Now the family has become part of the car’s history too.
“It’s not leaving, it’s part of the family.”
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